A Tale of Two Pocket Tees: Seamly Basics

August 5, 2016

Seamly Co Tees 6

I was on the hunt for some wardrobe essentials and I knew the Seamly Basic Tee from Indie Sew would be perfect: loose enough to be comfortable and slouchy, but fitted enough that I don’t look like I am wearing my husband’s shirts either. And the pattern part of the PDF was under 20 pages!

I made up 2 versions of the XS size. I didn’t want to use bamboo cotton for these, as I find that a little heavy for the summer. For the first one, I used some soft Melange Viscose Jersey from Blackbird Fabrics. (Sadly, it appears to be sold out – but this grey modal would be great too).

Seamly Co Tees White

The design is indeed so basic that I didn’t even bother to read the directions. I appreciated that the pattern pieces have grainline instructions on them in very accessible language (“direction of greatest stretch”). The fabric sewed up beautifully and the shirt came together quickly. I serged the seams and simply used a twin stretch needle to finish the hem and sleeves. I skipped sewing down the collar seam allowance on the white version, but will go back and complete that part.

Seamly Co Tees FlatSeamly Co Tees 4

The mint-green-scrubs-colour version, however, was a very different story. The fabric is from my local chain store, and while it’s fine, it absolutely does not compare to how soft the viscose jersey is and it’s already pilling. I also managed to make every mistake possible while making it – including attaching a sleeve upside down. Also, my (very old) machine was having a hard time with the twin-needle. It was skipping a stitch about every 3 inches or so. Maybe I need to clean out the feed dogs? (please comment below if you have any suggestions!)


Total cost for 2 T-shirts: $25.74 (before taxes)

PDF Pattern: 11.99

Green Jersey: 2.99

Viscose Ecru Jersey: 11.75 (5.75, plus $6 in shipping)

Time for 2 T-shirts (includes cutting and assembling the PDF): 3 hours

Fit changes: None!

What to work on: Neck Binding. It’s not as perfect as I would like it to be, but at least I am consistently inconsistent? Despite my slow pace, my serger was bouncing along the desk so I have swapped that out for a table.



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  • Reply Nancy March 25, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Twin needles come in stretch as well. Try that. Some tissue or paper underneath may also help. Keeps the fabric from pulling up. It’s never an exact science.

    • Reply Erica March 28, 2017 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you for such great tips, Nancy! I was using a stretch twin needle, but I have yet to try the tissue method. I’ll give it a go!

  • Reply Pat September 9, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    What is the widest stitch width on your sewing machine? I think you are supposed to make sure the width of the twin needle is less than that…also you might try a slightly longer stitch, different thread combinations, and sewing fairly slowly. Good luck!

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